At Calvary, the cross of Christ became an eternal emblem of love. Jesus never lost sight of God’s purpose for His life. Everything He learned from the Father was in preparation for this moment.
As Scripture tells us, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Jesus not only laid down His life for those who loved Him, He laid it down for all men and women, even those who choose to reject Him. He didn’t die just for those closest to Him. He died for all of us; no one is left out. But we must make a choice either to accept Him as our Savior or to turn away from Him and face the judgment of a tormenting death.
The Jews rejected Jesus. However, we know that Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea made a different choice. After His death, they asked for the Savior’s body to be given to them. Pilate granted their request.
No Jew of their social position could come in contact with the dead and remain spiritually clean. Yet, these men lovingly accepted the role they played in our Lord’s burial. It is doubtful that after this event they were allowed to continue as leaders in the Jewish community. More than likely, they became followers of Jesus Christ. Love leads to love, and it is Christ’s unconditional love that drew Nicodemus and Joseph to Himself. It is that same love that draws us today.
When you find yourself being drawn away by the world’s passions and temptations, remember the cross, where Christ gave His life as atonement for your sin. There is no greater love than God’s love for you.
Prayer: Lord, it is hard to imagine the depth of Your love for me. Thank You for dying for me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him” (John 19:17-18).
By Michael Youssef, Ph.D.